Mealtimes

Spanish Chicken Casserole

Adapted from Cooking for Jewish Festivals by Evelyn Rose

Serves 6-8 people


Ingredients
2 large onions
1 fat clove garlic
2 red peppers
2 large carrots
6-8 skinless chicken thighs (or chicken breasts)
1 heaped tablespoon flour seasoned with 2 teaspoons paprika and 15 grinds black pepper
5 tablespoons olive oil
500g carton passata (sieved tomatoes)
1 tablespoon sun dried tomatoes or tomato purée
100-150ml chicken stock (fresh or from a cube)
150ml fruity red wine
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
15 grinds black pepper
125g green or black pitted olives
225g or 1 cup frozen petit pois


Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC.
  2. Prepare the vegetables: Finely chop the onion and garlic. Cut peppers into 1½cm squares. Peel and dice carrots finely.
  3. Dip the chicken thighs in the seasoned flour. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan to a medium-high heat. Brown the chicken pieces on both sides for about 2-3 minutes each side. Remove from the pan and arrange in a roasting tin leaving room around the edges for the sauce.
  4. Add more olive oil to the frying pan (approximately 2 tablespoons). Cook the onion slowly on a fairly low heat for about 20 minutes until it is soft and sweet. Add the garlic and cook 3-4 minutes more.
  5. Turn up the heat to medium and add 300ml of passata – you can add more later if you think you need it. Add red peppers, carrots, tomato purée or sun dried tomatoes, stock, red wine, sugar, salt and pepper grinds.
  6. Simmer uncovered on a low heat for about 20 minutes until the carrots are soft and the mixture is thick and juicy.
  7. Pour into the roasting tin so that the sauce half-covers the chicken thighs. It might need a little more stock to make sure they are covered enough.
  8. Cover the roasting tin tightly with foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Half way through you can open the foil and pour off some of the sauce from the edge on top of the thighs.
  9. While the chicken is in the oven, simmer the frozen petit pois for a short time until almost cooked.
  10. Uncover the chicken after 30 minutes and add the olives and the petit pois and cook for a further 10-15 minutes.
  11. This casserole is delicious served with tagliatelle pasta or rice and a green salad.